SO you want to be a fashion editor/ the next Rachael Zoe/ or take the reins from Karl Lagerfeld. You’ve Googled ‘how to get a fashion internship/ job’ for the umpteenth time only to be left with the success stories that tell you to ‘follow your dream and you will get there, darling.’ It’s all great and well to have a dream, but HOW DO I GET THERE, GOOGLE?
The journey to front-row Nirvana is certainly no easy feat, but with a few secret weapons up your sleeve I promise this process will be a little smoother…
Get a degree
While there’s really no calculated formula to success in the fashion industry, having a degree will build your network, your practical skills and give you that competitive edge when it comes to candidate crunch time.
Develop your personal brand
In the digital age, your personal brand is more important than ever- it’s also what will help you get hired. Put your Facebook on private (unless you want your future employer to see those 3am dance floor photos), create a LinkedIn account, and if you want to be noticed for your writing/ designs skills make sure anyone can see your work with a quick online search. Cue: start a blog or create an online portfolio.
Max 2 pages. This should reflect your personal brand (you can include blog links and social media handles if they’re relevant). The cover letter should be strong and direct, and it should sell yourself in a way that translates to the employers environment. Example: I have my own blog, therefore I would be a useful social media intern. List your positive attributes and what you would bring to the company. Try and be unique, it doesn’t have to be overly formal. Add your education, past work experience and 2-3 references. Lastly, SPELLCHECK!
… But I have no work experience
Everyone starts with zero experience- never forget that! I started by working in retail (Sportsgirl) and volunteering backstage at Melbourne Fashion Week. I then landed my first internship at the age of 20. My fashion experience with an Australian retailer, a nicely crafted resume and having a blog also helped kicked off my industry networking/ interning. Don’t be afraid to ask your family and their friends- they might have a friend that already works in the industry. And if all else fails, head to Pedestrian TV’s job/ internship board!
Intern. Intern. Work experience. Intern (got it yet?)
In recent years, intern became a dirty word due to young students working ridiculous unpaid hours. The truth is, interning will fast track your career. My internships were only ever maximum two days a week and as I got older, they turned into freelance contributor roles. While I didn’t receive a wage, I did gain valuable insight and exposure into the industry I’m working in now.
CAREER ADVICE THAT ACTUALLY MATTERS
GET OUT YOUR NOTEBOOKS, KIDS. WORDS OF WISDOM FROM A FEW LOCAL LEADERS.
Fashion Editor/ journalist (Couturing & L’Oreal Australia)
Best advice given to her: As cliché as it sounds, you can really do anything you set your mind to. My parents were skeptical when I told them I wanted to “make magazines” when I was about 6 years old, but they were encouraging every step of the way and still push me to kick my career goals.
Best advice to pass on: Don’t sweat the small stuff. When the going gets tough, take a step back, breathe, and realise your problems are probably not as big as they seem. Sure, it’s natural to get down on yourself and have the occasional flat day, but you have to pick yourself up and realise your troubles aren’t all that bad in the grand scheme of things.
Pop culture editor/ journalist
Best advice given to her: Using big words doesn’t make you a better writer. Don’t burn your bridges. Be nice to everyone – you never know who they will become.
Her best advice to pass on: All of the above, and be humble. The most frustrating thing for me, working with junior staff, is a lack of respect for the knowledge base of your seniors. Learn everything you can from them, and then tell them thanks every once in a while. Also, if you get a paid, full time job in the media, thank your lucky stars – and don’t overestimate the supply of similar paid, full time jobs in the media when you’re bored/over it/want to quit because you had one bad weekend. If you’re a writer, don’t think that every single article has to represent your entire being – that’s what your blog is for. Never think you’re ‘above’ anything – a team player and a good leader shows that they’re willing to help out and do the dirty work when required. Don’t stress the small stuff: We’re not saving lives.
Social Media Strategist/ blogger
Best advice given to her: There is no predefined path for a creative person, stay true to what you love and be the very best version of yourself.
Her best advice to pass on: Don’t ever worry what anybody else is doing. If you have integrity, are hard working, love what you do, unique in what you offer and seek to create positive energy then you will align yourself with creatives who respect and value this.